I bet that right now you’re probably wondering what on earth a transactional relationship is and whether you’re unknowingly in one!
Don’t worry, I’m here to answer all of your questions – and then some!
Let’s start with the obvious. When you look up the word “transaction,” you’ll notice it has to do with buying and selling. It’s a business transaction, so in this sense we can say it’s sort of like relationship marketing.
It’s the type of relationship that is based on need. Two lovers are like business partners, each one benefiting from the relationship in their own way (quid pro quo).
Doesn’t sound very romantic, right?
That’s because it isn’t. Unlike transformational relationships that are based on desire, and are actually meaningful relationships, transactional ones are about self-interest.
Have you ever noticed that when people want something from their partner, sibling, or friend, the easiest route is to offer them something in return?
And isn’t that kind of like a business deal disguised as genuine social interaction?
There isn’t necessarily anything wrong with transactional marriages and relationships, it’s just that they lack love, and they’re not based on what you want, but what you need.
We don’t even realize that lots of our long-term relationships tend to end precisely due to their transactional nature.
How many times have you ended things with your partner because they kept needing something from you, as opposed to providing you with selfless love?
How many times have you been forced to settle for mediocre love due to your partner’s inability to see you as anything more than a possession that keeps on giving?
When you know how much you’re worth, you are able to draw a line that nobody gets to cross anymore.
And if you’re sick and tired of the transactional nature of your relationship, isn’t it high time you did something about it?
See also: 10 Honest Signs You’re Married But In Love With Someone Else
Why should we steer clear of transactional relationships and strive for more?
When we’re so focused on the need as opposed to desire, we lose the sense of what relationships are all about in their core.
Think about this. When your entire relationship is based on what you can offer and how good of a business deal you can make, you lose all sense of a real relationship.
Why? Because when your partner is only willing to offer something based on how much you’re willing to contribute, that’s a business partnership, not a loving union.
On the other hand, a different approach would allow your bond to strengthen and you’d see each other as actual life partners, and not a business team.
Have you ever said to your partner, “Why should I do this for you, when you’ve never done it for me?”
That’s an excellent example of a transactionally-oriented relationship. One partner is unwilling to put forth anything due to the fact they haven’t received the same from the other party.
Transactional relationships are doomed from the get-go. They are damaging and unhealthy, and if there are children involved, it instills the wrong values in them.
By exposing your child to this type of environment, you’re teaching him to appreciate people based on how much he can get from them. And hopefully, that is not something you genuinely live by.
This is a sad reality we all live in, and as do our children. Our interactions with people tend to be transactional, much to our disdain.
When you’ve been living this reality for long enough, it becomes difficult to fight it and seek something more genuine and honest like a transformational relationship.
See also: How To Build Trust In A Relationship? Simple But Effective Strategies
The beauty of transformational relationships
As their name clearly states, transformational relationships are about giving, helping, and making changes for the better.
They are characterized by finding a win-win way to handle couples’ hurdles as they presuppose that together (as a united front) you are much stronger than as individuals.
But there is so much more to it than just this!
You cannot claim to be in a transformational relationship if it hasn’t changed you in some meaningful way. The way you think, the way you see things, or the way the world works.
It has to have affected some profound part of you that has allowed you to express yourself in new, exciting ways. But the thing is, it isn’t all about you and your needs.
It’s about you and your partner in a synergy that allows you both to grow as individuals while keeping you together as loving partners.
You’re not in a transformational relationship if it doesn’t give you the urge to make changes for the better. In your own life, the lives of those you love, and the world in general.
Its grasp is extremely wide, and it tends to make you want to be better, do better, and keep exceeding your own expectations.
It’s genuine and deep, based on mutual appreciation, respect, and adoration. It consists of two people willing to go to the ends of the earth for each other without expecting anything in return.
So the reason for striving toward a transformational relationship is quite obvious. They are the only way to stand the test of time.
If you want a partner whose highest priority will be creating emotionally rich and happy personal lives that you can share, you’ll never get it if you stay in a transactional relationship.
That way it will always be about social networks and finding the most effective ways to profit from your partnership. What you want is unwavering love, support, and knowing they’ve got your back.
You want to hear “I love you” and you deserve to know you’re appreciated and loved. But how do you get there? How do you turn things around? The answers are below.
See also: Getting Over Heartbreak: 16 Tips To Help Heal Your Heart
How do you cultivate a more meaningful long-term relationship?
I bring you the most valuable tips on how to create something more transformational out of your business deal of a relationship. Here are the steps you must take to turn things around.
1. Drop all expectations
One of the biggest things you can say about transaction-based relationships is that they are filled with expectations.
If you’re stuck on maintaining certain expectations the moment you enter a relationship, you’re not giving it a solid chance in the first place.
It doesn’t provide you with the clarity you need to see what’s actually happening, as you’re too sidetracked by what you need from it.
Expectations will kill all romance, spontaneity, and excitement, and they will also make your head work overtime. How? By constantly keeping score.
Are your expectations met? Has your partner fulfilled his/her purpose? What’s the next goal on the agenda? And so on!
If you’re entering a relationship, there is only one expectation you should keep in mind. To be truly present in the now!
Choose to take each day as it comes. Wake up with no ulterior motives and love your partner no matter what.
Try to have a conversation with your partner and express your dissatisfaction with how your relationship has unfolded. If you’re seeking a deeper bond and a solid foundation, ask for it openly.
Many transformational relationships start out as transaction-based.
But once you discover that this person is more than just a glorified business partner, you get a chance to develop it into something more.
Leave expectations out the door and keep an open mind. If love is what you seek, then be willing to offer it as well. It all starts with you.
And if your partner is truly the one, things should start untangling toward a better, warmer, genuine environment.
2. Always be your authentic self
This is something that differs from one individual to another. Nobody knows who the “real you” is but you! Try to figure out who you are when there’s no one around and commit to being that person all the time.
It’s challenging, but ultimately, it’s what ensures your happiest self.
Being your authentic self is the most personal thing ever. Nobody can tell you how to do it and what you should do to get there. It’s up to you to uncover your true self to a person you share your life with.
One thing that’s for certain is that being real and authentic in a sea of fake people is beyond noticeable. Any deviation from what we are exposed to in the world is appreciated and welcome.
Being real will benefit your relationship in more ways than one. It will help you bond based on your ability to express yourself freely, unapologetically, and fiercely.
It will create a safe zone, where your partner will be encouraged to take off their mask and show who they really are.
Who knows, maybe they are tired of your transactional relationship as well, and they secretly yearn for more!
Authenticity is vital when it comes to maintaining meaningful relationships. People can pretend for a long time, and they do it really well.
But with time, they get tired of it. It becomes exhausting constantly playing a role that’s simply not you. So why not do yourselves a favor and just be who you really want to be?
You’re not business partners, you are lovers who are sharing their lives with each other. Start acting accordingly and see how good you can have it.
3. Be willing to take risks sometimes
“But he’d learned long ago that a life lived without risks pretty much wasn’t worth living. Life rewarded courage, even when that first step was taken neck-deep in fear.” – Tamera Alexander
Life and love are all about taking risks, giving yourself fully and completely, and hoping for the best. You can’t always have a safety net. Sometimes you just need to go all in and see where it takes you.
Taking risks with your partner forges a stronger bond and creates a sense of deep trust. Why? Because it shows your partner that you’re willing to go all-in for them.
You can’t always play it safe, can you? You can’t always keep waiting for others to do something for you in order to give something back! Sometimes you just have to follow your gut and let go of your need for control.
Transactional relationships are plagued with constant rejections, which end up closing you off from people and not allowing yourself to truly love.
It leaves you feeling alone and scared of reaching out to your partner out of fear of being turned down. And that ends up being the voice inside your head that’s always telling you to play it safe.
But it’s time to stop listening to that voice. Start moving in a direction that allows you to share your deepest wants and needs, and stop living in your comfort zone.
So what if it ends up biting you in the ass? It’s not the end of the world! Do what you want, when you want it. Nobody gets to tell you otherwise.
Take risks, share your “failures,” and be proud of every little step in the right direction you take as a couple. Life is too short to live in any type of fear, don’t you think?
4. Ask uncomfortable (and much-needed) questions
It’s beyond difficult to connect on a deeper level if you’re not willing to dig deeper. You know exactly what I’m referring to, right?
You must be able to ask those tough, awkward questions and make your partner ponder! Otherwise, your relationship will be superficial in its nature with a touch of transaction.
Create a safe, secure environment in your relationship by daring to ask what you haven’t been able to ask so far.
Key elements of a relationship are breaking what’s supposed to be “taboo” topics and digging deeper than ever. That is ultimately the only way to penetrate your partner’s core and find what makes them tick, and vice versa.
Try to forget what your transactional relationship has instilled in you and fight your impulse to be on the safe side.
Get to know the person you’re spending your life with and share your innermost thoughts with them.
Eventually, you will start realizing that you’ve transcended into a much deeper, more genuine territory that you didn’t think was there.
Dare to go where you haven’t gone thus far and you will find the truth that was hidden for so long.
Who is your partner truly? What’s the thing that has truly made them think that you’re the one? What is their biggest fear in life? How fearful are they of what the future holds?
Without asking the tough questions, you will forever be stuck in the gray zone. You’ll be partners, but your relationship will resemble a business deal that is void of all emotions.
Nip the transaction in the bud and choose to evolve, transform, and create something that will transcend all of your expectations. Be a team in the most intimate ways that only the two of you are privy to.
That’s what a real, raw relationship is at its very core.
See also: 9 Alarming Ways You Give Away Your Power When You Fall In Love
Transformational relationships are here to transform you in ways that you were unable to grasp while you were stuck in your transactional relationship.
They provide you with a brand-new outlook on life that allows you to see all you’ve been missing thus far.
While transaction-based relationships are based on self-interest and need, transformational ones are focused on change, growth, and core values.
Love isn’t a business deal that is all about quid pro quo action. Love isn’t supposed to be void of intimacy and authenticity.
Love is an affectionate collaboration between two people who show up for each other. Not because they are forced to – because they want to.
Seek love that transforms you and allows you to grow together side by side, while still being able to hold on to your authentic, raw self.
That is the key to real intimacy, genuine connection, and a long-lasting bond.
“Most people are slow to champion love because they fear the transformation it brings into their lives. And make no mistake about it: Love does take over and transform the schemes and operations of our egos in a very mighty way.” – Aberjhani